Books and gluttony

Posted on July 23, 2011


For us "babies" of co-author Chay Hofileña (with Miriam Grace Go), reading "Ambition, Destiny, Victory" was like a class activity.

When 2011 began, I vowed to stop or at least limit my purchase of books until I finish half the 20 or so items on my reading list. I did this because the sin of gluttony, I believe, applies not only to food but also to other material goods. I felt it will be gluttony on my part to devour more books without having finished at least half the stuff on my plate.

Today, I finished the only book I have so far bought this year – “Ambition, Destiny, Victory: Stories from a Presidential Election,” a historic piece that reveals the inside stories of the Aquino, Villar, Estrada, and Teodoro presidential campaigns.

Despite my self-imposed moratorium on buying books, I couldn’t resist this one for three reasons. First, it was written by two journalists I admire and would like to emulate – my journalism professor Chay Hofileña and Miriam Grace Go, both of Newsbreak. Second, the topic is intriguing. Third, almost all my journ classmates were getting a copy. Siyempre hindi ako pahuhuli!

I consider it a little milestone to have finished “Ambition, Destiny, Victory,” given that it is one of my bad habits to start reading a book and not to finish it. While I have started reading around five other books since 2011 began, this book on the elections – a political piece that reads like a novel – was the first that I actually finished this year.

Tonight I am starting to read a book that I had started reading two years ago and that I had not yet finished: “Contemplatives in Action: The Jesuit Way,” a book on Jesuit spirituality that I would like to finish before the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits and patron of the Ateneo de Manila, on July 31.

Then next, after a few more books: the critically-acclaimed “Jesus of Nazareth” series by Pope Benedict XVI; “The Screwtape Letters,” a C. S. Lewis book on spiritual warfare from a demon’s point-of-view; and soon, “The Enemy Within: An Inside Story on Military Corruption” by Newsbreak’s Glenda Gloria, Aries Rufo, and Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza.

Excited! Now back to the discipline of reading.